Manataka American Indian Council

 

 

 

LEGENDS

 

 

 

 

Corncob Boy

Cochiti Legend

At one time there in the north was a town. The chief had children. Two Yellow Women were the chief's children. Then Corncob Boy fell in love with the elder one of the chief's two children. Oh my! the poor Corncob Boy had a grandmother, an old woman. That Corncob Boy dwelt with his grandmother. The people of the town below treated Corncob Boy badly.

They went to tell Corncob Boy, Corncob Boy should purify himself by vomiting. The people of the town below were about to go hunting, all the people. Then Yellow Woman went to tell Corncob Boy.

 

She shouted at the window, "Corncob Boy," said Yellow Woman, the elder one of the chief's children.

 

"Yes," said Corncob Boy.

 

"Make rabbit sticks for me. To-morrow we are going to hunt rabbits, I and my sister. I came to tell you this, Corncob Boy," said Yellow Woman. Then Yellow Woman went to her house.

 

In the morning the Masewa shouted. He told the people to go hunting. They were to go hunting rabbits in the north. Then the people walked. Somewhere in the north the people assembled. Then all the women of the town below together went hunting. Corncob Boy as the last went there alone. Then Corncob Boy made rabbit sticks for the girls. He made them for the Yellow Women, the daughters of the chief. They went there to Corncob Boy's house.

 

Yellow Woman shouted at the window. "Corncob Boy," said she to him. "Let us go hunting," said Yellow Woman. Then Corncob Boy went out. "Let us go," said Corncob Boy.
 

Then he went out. Oh my! poor Corncob Boy had a shock of hair and the same as Corncob Boy was his house. Oh my! the poor one. Then he went together with the Yellow Women sisters. Then they went together to where in the north the people were already gathered, those people who were going hunting.

 
Corncob Boy and the Yellow Women went south below. They went there. Then the
people saw them. They went south together. The people went hunting rabbits. Corncob Boy arrived where the people were assembled. He arrived there. They
always walked behind the people, the Yellow Women and Corncob Boy. Then the
people frightened away the rabbits. The people did not kill any rabbits. All
the rabbits were lost. Corncob Boy, however, below them frightened away the
rabbits, but Corncob Boy killed rabbits. Then the Yellow Women carried the
rabbits which Corncob Boy had killed.

The people went hunting in the north. The people made a circle. The men and
the women were hunting together. They did not kill any rabbits. Then at noon
they sat down somewhere. The people were going to eat dinner. Then in the
south below arrived Corncob Boy and the Yellow Women together.

 

Already the Yellow Women were carrying many rabbits on their backs, both the sisters. The people saw them. They were going south. They were carrying on their
backs many rabbits, both of them. The poor people, however, the men had killed no rabbits. Oh my! the poor women had killed no rabbits. Then they ate. All the people together ate dinner. Then Corncob Boy and the Yellow Women arrived. They sat down together to eat. The Yellow Women put down the many rabbits they had killed. Yellow Woman said, "Let us eat, Corncob Boy."


Yellow Woman and her sister had wafer bread for their lunch. Then they were eating. Corncob Boy also had lunch. "Give it to us!" said Yellow Woman, "Corncob Boy, take out your lunch!" they said to him. Corncob Boy was unwilling to take it out. Oh my! the poor one, his lunch was corn soot. Oh my! his poor grandmother made for him mush of corn soot. 


Then Yellow Woman took it away. Corncob Boy did not allow her to do it. She took away the corn soot mush, which Corncob Boy had for his lunch. Then Yellow Woman told Corncob Boy to eat wafer bread, but Yellow Woman and her
sister ate the corn soot.

When she had finished, the people had already gone away--the hunters. Then they also went from there together. The people went westward and made a circle. The ends of the (lines of) people met. Now the people did not kill any rabbits. They had been finding rabbits, but they did not kill any.

 
However, the people of the town hated Corncob Boy, and therefore they did not kill any rabbits. They were jealous of Corncob Boy, for they always killed rabbits--Corncob Boy together with the Yellow Women. However, he killed rabbits and frightened the rabbits away. Then the girls took the rabbits, just those Corncob Boy had killed. In the evening the people went back. They had not killed any rabbits. Oh my! the poor women had not killed any. Then Corncob Boy went that way together with the Yellow Women. Corncob Boy was walking in the middle and the Yellow Women were walking on each side, carrying many rabbits on their backs. Corncob Boy carried rabbits on his back to where the Yellow Women dwelt. In the evening they arrived at the chief's house. Then they took the youth below there. They climbed up.

 

"There below inside!" shouted the Yellow O Women. "There below inside!" they said. 


"Yes," said their father, the chief. "Here below is a youth. You will take him into our family," said the Yellow Women. "Welcome," said the mother of the Yellow Women.

 

Then they went down together.  The youth carried the rabbits on his back. "How are things?" said Corncob Boy. Then the mother of the Yellow Women jumped toward them. She took the rabbits. "Thank you," said their mother, "Thank you, youth, you have killed many rabbits," "Thank you," said the chief, "Corncob Boy, you have killed many game animals," said the chief to him. Then their mother went to bring wafer bread. She put down the wafer bread before Corncob Boy and told him to eat. Then Yellow Woman spoke thus, "Eat, Corncob Boy!" Then Corncob Boy ate. He gave the chief and his wife rabbits to eat.

 

They put the rabbits in front of the fireplace. Then their mother took up sacred corn
meal. Then Yellow Woman and her sister and the chief together gave sacred
corn meal to the rabbits.

"Thank you, Corncob Boy, you have killed many game animals," they said. Then
Corncob Boy ate. When he had eaten enough, "Thank you," said Corncob Boy.

Then the officers in the town, the war captains, went to tell again, and commanded Corncob Boy to purify himself by vomiting. Then Corncob Boy went to his house. They gave him wafer bread for his lunch. Then he went in the morning to his grandmother's house. Corncob Boy's grandmother was inside.


"Here," said he, "grandmother, the chief's daughters, the Yellow Women, gave
me wafer bread for my lunch," said he. Then his grandmother spoke thus,
"Poor grandson," said she. "What should it be?" said she to her grandson.
"Who would have anything to do with you, grandson, poor Shock of Hair?" said
she to her grandson.

 

Corncob Boy was told to purify by vomiting for four days. Oh my! poor Corncob Boy purified again by vomiting. Then the Masewa shouted to the people of the town, the town (people) were to vomit. After four days he went to tell, oh my! to the poor Corncob Boy, that those who had long hair were to roll it down into the kiva. Then they said thus to Corncob Boy, "The one who has the longest hair shall have the Yellow Women, the daughters of the chief," they said to Corncob Boy. Oh my! poor Corncob Boy thought, Oh my! the poor one, had no long hair.

 

Then he sacrificed sacred corn meal. Oh my! the poor one asked for help. He had no long hair.  Oh my! the poor Yellow Women had turkeys. Then the chief spoke thus, "I shall make a request of the turkeys," said the chief.

"When it is time for him to act, said he "wash his head, said the chief to them. "In the morning after four days you will go together," said the chief.


Oh my! poor Corncob Boy thought that he had no long hair. Then he told his grandmother, "Grandmother," said he to her, the people have come again to tell me," said he, "I am to purify by vomiting," said he to his grandmother.

 
"They will inspect who has the longest hair in town. He will have the chief's daughters," said Corncob Boy. He told his grandmother. Then his grandmother spoke thus, "Poor grandson," said she to him, "now the people trouble you again with something," said his grandmother to him. "It will be to-morrow," said Corncob Boy. "It will be after four days; now it will be to-morrow," said he. "Then after a while we shall go to the chief's house," said he to his grandmother. Then, "Poor grandson," said the old woman. Oh my! her poor grandson! In the evening the two, he and his grandmother, went to the chief's house. Then, "How are things?" they said. "It is well," said they. "Sit down!" said the owners of the house. They came in.

 

Then the Yellow Women spoke thus, "Have you come?" said the Yellow Women, "Corncob Boy?" "Yes," said he. "My grandmother and I have come here," said he. Then the chief spoke thus, "My daughters," said he to them, "wash Corncob Boy's
head," said the chief. Then the girls pounded yucca root and washed Corncob Boy's head. Then the chief spoke thus, "My children," said the chief, "you, younger one, bring the turkeys," said their father. Corncob Boy was sitting down. Yellow Woman called the turkeys. They came there and she took sacred corn meal and together the chief and his wife and the two Yellow Women, the sisters, fed them. Corncob Boy and his grandmother together fed the turkeys.

 
"Eat, Turkey girls and boys!" Then the turkeys pulled Corncob Boy's hairs, one by one. Then the turkeys made his hair long. They pulled his hairs one by one. Now all was done. The Yellow Women tied up Corncob Boy's hair and all his hair was On the next morning the Masewa shouted to the town people, "Let the people come to the kiva. Now they will roll down their long hair."

 

Then the, people began to come to the kiva. The Yellow Women, the daughters of the chief, went there together, Corncob Boy and the two sisters. Then they entered the kiva. The people saw them. Corncob Boy was a handsome youth. The Yellow Women brought him there together. They went there. They were going to let their hair roll down to see who had the longest hair. Then not all rolled down their hair.

 

Then (the one who had the longest hair) was to have the chief's daughters, they said. Then the one among the people who had very long hair, to that one, "Come here," said the Masewa. Then that man went there, the one who had very long hair. Then he let his long hair roll down the ladder southward. They untied his long hair and let it roll down southward. It reached almost half way down. Then it was
all unrolled. It did not reach down to the bottom. Then it was his turn.

 

Corncob Boy was going to let his long hair roll down. "Come here, Corncob Boy!" they said. The Masewa called him. Then he went there. The Yellow Women went there with him. Then the Yellow Women unrolled Corncob Boy's hair. Then Corncob Boy lay down and his long hair rolled down on the south side of the ladder into the kiva. His long hair was not all unrolled and it reached the floor below. It was not all unrolled. Too much! Corncob Boy had too long hair.

 

Yellow Women tied it up for Corncob Boy. Then Yellow Woman and her sister went to her house together with Corncob Boy. The people of the town were looking at him. Now the people inside the kiva went away. They climbed up together to the Yellow Women's house. The Yellow Woman shouted down the trapdoor. From there downward the Yellow Woman said, "There below!" said she. "Come in!" said the chief and his wife. Then the Yellow Woman spoke thus, "There go down, youth!" said she. Then the sisters went in together.

"How are things?" said Corncob Boy. Then the chief and his wife arose and
greeted Corncob Boy. "Now Corncob Boy won again," said she. "Thanks," said
the chief. "Poor one," said the chief to him, "they have made again some trouble for you," said the chief. Then they put food before Corncob Boy.

 
"Eat wafer bread!" Then he ate together with them. And together, the Yellow Woman and her sister and her father and her mother ate together. Then Corncob Boy spoke thus, "I shall go to where my poor grandmother is," said he. "Thanks, father," said he to the chief, "I am grateful that you helped me. Thanks," said he. Then he went to his house. His grandmother was inside.

 
He went in. "How are things, grandmother, poor one, how are you here?" said he to his grandmother. Then his grandmother stood up and greeted her grandson. "How are things, poor grandson?" said she to him. "How did you come out there," said his grandmother to him. Then he spoke thus, "I came out well, grandmother," said he, "grandmother. I am grateful, the chief's daughters helped me. We went together to the kiva. I won," said he. "Poor one," said his grandmother. "Thanks, they helped you," said she. She did not recognize her grandson. Corncob Boy was very handsome. His hair knot was very large. Very long was Corncob Boy's hair.

 

Therefore his grandmother did not recognize him. He, looked different. He was handsome. Then his grandmother made lunch for him. She was going to give him corn soot mush to eat. They were accustomed to eat corn soot mush. Then she made mush for Corncob Boy. Then both his grandmother and he ate mush.

Again in the evening at sundown, the officers came again to tell them. They shouted at the window, "Hey," said the officers. "Yes," said Corncob Boy.

 
Then the officers said, "I came to tell you this. The war captain says, You shall purify by vomiting," thus said to him the officers who shouted at the window. "We came to tell you this. Beginning tomorrow for four days, you shall purify by vomiting," said the officers to him. Then his grandmother spoke thus, "Poor grandson," said she to him. "Again they come to tell you something," said his grandmother. Then "Yes," said Corncob Boy. "They are trying to take away from me the Yellow Women, the chief's daughters," said Corncob Boy. Then he said also, "Oh dear," said he, "how shall I do this?" said he. On the next day he purified by vomiting.

 

The officers spoke thus, "Whoever has melons and watermelons and corn and squashes and a good home, he shall have the chief's daughters, the Yellow Women," said the officers to him. "This I came to tell you," thus they said to him. "When now four days have passed, we shall go and see the floors in the town all together. All the houses shall be clean," said the Masewa. "Then whoever has most corn and melons and watermelons and squashes and everything and whoever has a good house and who has property in it, he shall have the Yellow Women, the daughters of the chief. Whoever wins, the villagers or Corncob Boy, whoever wins, shall have the Yellow Women, the daughters of the chief," said the
officers who came to tell.

 

Then after four days had passed, in the morning they were going to see them. The villagers were all sweeping every house and also Corncob Boy's house. In the evening the chief and his wife and his daughters, the Yellow Women, went together to Corncob Boy's house. They swept the floor of the house, the Chief's daughters and Corncob Boy's grandmother together. Together they swept the floor of his house. His house was pure corncobs. Oh my! the poor one, therefore the people always made trouble for him. In the night they swept Corncob Boy's whole house.

Then the chief's daughters went to his house. In the night they changed his house. Then there were four rooms. In the north, west, south, and east (rooms), in all four rooms there was corn and melons and watermelons and squashes, everything.

 

Now in the north room there was yellow corn. In the west room there was blue corn. In the south room there was red corn. In the east room there was white corn. Squashes were in it and melons and watermelons and everything in (the house of) Corncob Boy.

 

In the morning at daylight, the people went to look at it. There in the town was Corncob Boy's house. It was nice where he dwelt. It was large where he dwelt. On top were all kinds of birds singing. They were all on top of his house.

 

Then the Masewa said, "Here is Corncob Boy's house. It is large," said the Masewa. Thus here they did on every floor, oh my! the poor ones, the people made corn out of (a soft yellowish stone). In every house they worked (the soft yellowish stone) (?). They had no corn, melons, watermelons, squashes, or anything else. Oh my! the poor people of the town. They were very poor, but Corncob Boy had magic power. Therefore helped him the magic power that put everything .into (his house). The Masewa and the O'yoyewa and the officers went together into the rooms of every house.

 

They entered every house and they looked at the rooms. They went into every house and there were no melons and corn and watermelons, there were none anywhere. The people had nothing but things made of yellow stone in every house.

 

Then the Masewa and the O'yoyewa and the officers went into all the houses. Finally they arrived at Corncob Boy's house. The Masewa and the O'yoyewa and the officers went together. Then the chief's daughters were together with Corncob Boy in his house.

It was nice where Corncob Boy dwelt. Corncob Boy's grandmother was very glad, oh my! the poor one. They were there together with the chief's daughters, the Yellow Women. Then the Masewa and the O'yoyewa went in.


They were going to look at what Corncob Boy had. Then, "How are things?"  said the Masewa and the O'yoyewa. "It is well," said Corncob Boy. "Sit down," said he. The chief's daughters and Corncob Boy were together in his house. Then the Masewa spoke thus, "We have come in here," said the Masewa. "It is well," said Corncob Boy. "Come in," said Corncob Boy. "Now look at it," said Corncob Boy. Then the Masewa. spoke thus. "It is well," said he. Then together they entered the north room. Yellow corn was in it and it was packed full. The Masewa saw it (together). Then they went out again. "It is good," said the Masewa.

 

Then they entered also the west room together. Blue corn was in it. Then the Masewa spoke again thus, "It is good," said he. Then they went out again. Then they also entered the south room and there was red corn in it, packed full. Again the Masewa spoke thus, "It is good," said he. Then they went out together. They entered also the east room together. Then there was also white corn in the east
room. Then Masewa said, "Thanks," said the Masewa.

 

"Now we have gone into all the rooms," said the Masewa. "It is good," said he, "Corncob Boy," said he. "Let us go! Now you have seen," said Corncob Boy, "What I have, the corn and melons and watermelons and squashes and everything," said he, "and my house," said Corncob Boy. Thus he said to the Masewa. "Now then," said Corncob Boy, "I shall go away from the town here," said Corncob Boy. "I won again the Yellow Women, the chief's daughters. Then the Masewa and the O'yoyewa, went out again and they went to his house. Again the chief went to Corncob Boy's house and they lived there together.

In the evening at sunset, the officers came to tell again that he should purify by vomiting. Again the officers shouted at the window, "There inside!" said the officers. "Yes," said Corncob Boy. "We came to tell you this. From now on for four days you shall purify by vomiting," said the officers to him. "All right," said Corncob Boy. Then he told his grandmother, "Grandmother," said he to her. "Here now again," said he, "they came to tell me," said he, "I am to purify again by vomiting," said he.

 

His grandmother spoke thus, "Poor grandson," said she, "they are causing you
some trouble again," said she to her grandson. "Already they have come again
to tell you," said his grandmother. "The Yellow Woman had again given birth
to a boy. Whoever wins will have Yellow Woman's child. Where he goes and
sits down, that one will have the child for his son," said the Masewa.
 

They went again to tell Corncob Boy. "After four days it will be," said the officers to him who had come to tell him. Then, oh my! the poor one, Corncob Boy purified again by vomiting. Then he and his grandmother both purified by vomiting. Then he sacrificed, asking for help. Corncob Boy and his grandmother both asked for help. "Please," said his grandmother, "help my poor grandson!" said his grandmother.

 

After four days, Corncob Boy spoke to the chief. "Father and mother," said he. "Again the people of the town came to tell me. The war captain, Masewa, who came to tell me again to whomever this Yellow Woman's child goes, on whose lap it sits down, he will take the Yellow Women, your two daughters," said he to the chief. "This they came to tell me," said Corncob Boy. "The officers came to tell me,"
said he. Then he spoke thus. He told the chief. Then the chief said, "Poor Corncob Boy, they are causing you some trouble," said the chief. "You are the one who maintains us, Corncob Boy," said the chief. "It is well, we shall help you, I and my children," said the chief.

 

Together they purified by vomiting, the chief and his wife and the Yellow Women, the two sisters. Then (the day) was there. In the morning the Masewa shouted to
the villagers below. He told them, "Come to the kiva, all together, from all around, but only the men!" Then the people came into the kiva and went in.

 
All the people entered. Now it was the turn of Corncob Boy. He went to the kiva together with the chief's daughters, the Yellow Women. The little baby was the child of Yellow Woman, a boy. The elder one had a child. She went there together with her sister. Corncob Boy walked in the middle.


Corncob Boy was holding the baby. Then they entered the kiva together. Corncob Boy sat down at the foot of the ladder and he and the girls sat down together. Then they called the little baby. The people were all around the inside. They were every where around. Then they took the baby northeastward. 


All the men held flowers. Then the little one went all around northward, then west ward and the people showed the flowers to him The little one did not care for any. He did not take them. Then he went southward. Near the foot of the ladder Corncob Boy was sitting. The little one arrived there.


All at once he jumped toward Corncob Boy. He was his son. The baby stood up in front of him and he took the baby. Then they went together, the chief's daughters, Yellow Woman and her sister. They went together to Corncob Boy's house. The Masewa said, "Heh," said the Masewa. "Corncob Boy is most powerful," said the Masewa. "Now the Yellow Women have gone there again and he owns the Yellow Women," said the Masewa.

 

The people went each to his own house. It was at an end. The Yellow Women and
Corncob Boy and the baby boy, his child, went in together. Then he told his grandmother, "Grandmother," said he to his grandmother. "Yes," said his grandmother. "Here we have come in again. I have again won over those people," said Corncob Boy. He told his grandmother. "The chief's daughters and their mother helped me," said Corncob Boy. "Thanks, the chief's daughters, thanks, they helped me," said he to his grandmother. He told her.


His grandmother spoke thus, "Thanks," said his grandmother. "You helped him," said she. "Thanks, chief's daughters, thanks, I am grateful," said his grandmother.

 

Then he spoke thus, "Now it is enough," said Corncob Boy. "This is the end. I shall not stand any more," said he, "in this town. They are always causing me trouble," said he. Thus he told the town people and the Masewa, "I shall not stand it any more." He told so to the people, the war captain and the Masewa together. "It is enough! You always give me trouble," said Corncob Boy. Then (he said to) the chief's daughters and his grandmother, they should all stay in Corncob Boy's house. "There is corn inside. All the corn that is inside you shall eat," said Corncob Boy. "I shall go away from here," said he. He told the chief. "It is well," said he,
"Corncob Boy, you are the one who maintains this town down here," said the
chief.

"Now the people of the town will remember who maintains them," said the chief. Then Corncob Boy spoke thus, "I shall go away from here," said he. "You will stay here in my house," said he to the chief. Then the chief spoke thus, "If anyone in the town comes here to our house, he may ask for something? Tomorrow, maybe, the town will be in need." "If anyone comes to ask corn, give them some!" said Corncob Boy. "I shall go away from here," said Corncob Boy. "I will not endure it any more. I shall have trouble," said he. "For four days I shall not go out," said Corncob Boy. He did not go out for four days. It was for four years. He went away from here. Then he went northwestward. Then he went away for a long time.

 

For four years he went away. One year the people of the town planted. Corn and melons and watermelons and squashes they planted. In the town below for one year it did not rain at all. Then all the cornstalks, the melons, the watermelons were
coming up. Then all became dry, and everything they planted, the corn, the watermelons, the melons, the squashes dried up. It did not rain any more.
 

Then the Masewa said, "Woe!" said the Masewa, "Corncob Boy may have gone somewhere. Now this year, it will not rain at all," said the Masewa, said the war captain of the town. Then "Woe! our father Corncob Boy has gone somewhere," said the Masewa. "How is this?" said the war captain. "Now
all the fields are dry," said the Masewa.

 

They were in need of Corncob Boy. Then all the people were out of corn. The people of the town had nothing more to eat. Oh my! the poor ones were very hungry. Then some people went to the chief's house, begging for something to eat. Then the chief gave them corn to eat, Corncob Boy's corn. Corncob Boy had ordered them not to let people remain in trouble but to give them to eat. Then some of the people were dying of hunger. Corncob Boy had gone away forever.

 

Corncob Boy had spoken thus, "Let the people of the town find out," said he. "Oh my! the poor ones have always made some trouble for me," said he.

 

He went away forever, to some place. Then it rained no more in the town. For one year, whatever the people planted was very dry. It rained no more.  The corn dried up and was lost. Corncob Boy had gone away forever and therefore it did not rain any more. Corncob Boy had gone away. That long is the bald tail.
 

Tc-c-c. That is all.

Tales of the Cochiti Indians by Ruth Benedict, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 98 [1932]

 

Graphic Credits: www.legendsofamerica.com/NA-LittleBrave.html

 


 

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